New Pizza Packs an Eco-Punch

Pizza Helps Kids Save The Planet

To many children, pizza ranks as their favorite food on Earth. Now an environmentally correct pizza aimed at helping them save the Earth is available at natural food stores across the country.

Tree of Life, the nation’s largest distributor of organic foods to the natural food industry, introduced its new Pizza Power Pack in March. Pizza is the second product marketed under the company’s Small World brand, following the success of its Animal Grahams organic cookies.

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Small World pizzas are made entirely with organic ingredients, said John Rowland, product development manager. Packaging used for the product is a recycled paperboard made from old newspapers and printed with soy-based inks. Also, the St. Augustine, Fla.-based firm donates 2 percent of all wholesale dollars to the Rainforest Action Network.

To help educate their young customers, as well as parents buying the product, the company includes an ecosystem card in each package of pizzas. Each fact-filled card features a color photo of an ecosystem and map of the world showing where it exists. Each card also explains what ecosystems are, how they work, why they’re in trouble and how kids can help.

“The idea is to educate children about Earth’s ecosystems. And the wonderful thing is the kids eat it up,” Rowland said. “They are very much in tune with the environment — much more so than adults. It has amazed us how ecologically minded they are.”

Small World Animal Graham cookies, introduced in 1990, set the tone for the pizza packaging. Each box of cookies contains an endangered-animal card instead of an ecosystem version. Each animal featured on a card matches one of the 10 cookie shapes. The cards also tell children and their parents how to learn more about organizations working to protect endangered animals.

Two percent of the wholesale dollars raised through the cookie sales is donated to environmental groups like the the African Wildlife Federation. And like the pizzas, Small World cookies also are made entirely with organic ingredients.

“By using organic supplies, we’re helping support sustainable agriculture and eliminating the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides in the ingredients we use,” Rowland said.

Pizza was chosen to follow up the Small World Animal Grahams because the company already distributed the main ingredients — organic bread, cheese and tomatoes, he added.

“We knew kids liked pizza and we had all the ingredients,” he said. “It was a natural fit.”

More Small World foods are in the planning stages. Anyone interested in the products should visit their local natural food store. If they don’t carry the Small World brands, ask them to call Tree of Life.

Earth Fact: There are approximately 9,000 natural food stores in the United States.

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